Sunday, July 14, 2013

This One is For The Girls......................

I am afraid that I do not understand where teenage girls are at in their minds these days. It is not that I was never a teenager, I get the angst and the confusion. I don't get how they see themselves and their lack of self esteem and self worth. The way they objectify themselves willingly and wholeheartedly.

In the early 1900's women dedicated their lives to the suffrage movement. They died, fought, went to jail, and were abused for our right to vote. They fought for the right to have birth control and clinics for women. The right to have choice in our leaders and our bodies. Sadly, many of our young women have never heard of great women such as  Margret Sanger, Susan B Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

In the seventies women burned their bras and grew their arm pit hair out dangerously long enough to braid it and wear it as a scarf. To snub their nose at the ideals of how women should look and act.

In the eighties women wore their hair with sideways pony tails, raccoon eyed makeup, and shoulder pads that made them look more like cooperate football players rather than women. They said we can do anything a man can do and we have the shoulders to prove it. They worked to become CEOs of major companies.

In the nineties somehow underwear became worn on the outside of our clothing. We wore our father's and brother's army boots with our dresses and rocked out to empowering music like "I'm a B...." from artists like Meredith Brooks. We wanted to show that we were tough and femmine at the same time. That we were a force to be reckoned with. No longer would we be pushed into the corner. We wanted equal pay and equal ideals.

Being a woman is something to be proud of and it has nothing to do with how skinny you are or what your outfit costs. We should reflect on the battles waged and won on how we get to buy and own such clothes in the first place. There was a time when in this country a woman was not allowed to own any property at all. She was not allowed to have outward opinions on matters such as politics and land owning. No one listened to her ideals or opinions.

Now, thirteen year olds are more interested in how they look rather than their career plans or their education. They are worried about being skinny enough, pretty enough, and "sexy". A fact I find highly disturbing. What happened?

Duck face pictures are dumb. They do not make anyone look "hot". They make you look like your lips had a major stroke. They look broken. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I would make ugly faces my mother would scold me and tell me that if someone hit me on my back my face would stay that way. If no one has hit you on the back then there is no excuse to keep doing it. It's akin to getting into your mother's makeup and filling in your eyebrows with her favorite hot pink lipstick when you were five years old. It looks silly.

The constant comments about how fat you look bothers me. Weight has nothing to do with beauty. It really doesn't matter because most girls who comment about being fat weigh in the lower nineties anyway. If your waist is the circumference of my thigh then you are not fat, you are just confused. Beauty is about self confidence and attitude, not what the numbers on the scale tells you.

Making ridiculous comments about wanting a relationship like The Notebook. Please......The Notebook is a romance novel. Romance novels are fairy tales, akin to the three little pigs. There are people, creatures, animals that you recognize but they do ridiculous things that are impossible. How does a pig build houses when he has hooves for hands? How does a wolf huff and puff and blow your house down when wolves do not posses the ability to pucker their lips?  They are capable of panting not blowing.

Books like the notebook are fiction. How do I know this? Well, for starters they are not located in the same isle of the library as The Diabetes Cookbook, autobiographies of Elvis, or The Diary Of Anne Frank.

A good way to tell if a romance novel is ridiculous is if nowhere in that book or movie there isn't someone farting, burping, or picking their nose. There is no talk about him coming home after a long day of work and him having stinky feet. No mention of her nagging because he refuses to share the television remote. No arguing over whose turn it is to take out the garbage, fighting over the bills, or contempt because he forgot something on the shopping list. No one lives like they do in these stories. We are all human and as humans we all have our own issues. Love is what your willing to put up with. I am sure even Ryan Gossling passes gas at some point. He is human, last I heard. I am not saying there isn't true love or that relationships can not last forty years, I am saying that relationships are hard work. That people do annoying things and to love someone is to accept their baggage. What ever that baggage may be.

I don't know why there is such a perverse need to saddle yourself up to someone when you are so young. Learn who you are first. Go out with friends and have a social life. Go to college. Get a part time job. Fall and learn how to pick yourself back up. Find who the real you is first before you try to become a half of a whole relationship. If your betrothed is still waiting to be with you after that than it has a chance of being real. If not then it wasn't meant to be anyway.

If your partner is a cheater, liar, manipulator, or abuser then don't take him/her back. If they have wronged you they aren't worth your time. You will love again. You are worth more than that. Trust me.

So I guess what this long drawn out post is trying to say is that you are selling yourself short. You can be anything in this life. You do not need to worry if you are good enough for someone. If they don't want you then it's their loss and you were probably better than them anyway. Stop worrying about your looks and get a good education. Looks fade, intelligence is forever. Learn about the struggles women have gone through so you can take pictures of yourself in your booty shorts and share it with the world. Contemplate on that for a few minutes and decide if that's really the image you want to share with the world. Are you just an object or are you a person with dreams, hopes, and emotions. Because mark my words, people are not thinking about you as a person when you post pictures and comments like that. They are seeing you through the goggles of sexual objectification.  Stop saying you want a relationship. You don't really. What you want is to feel whole. What you want is to feel special, to know who you are, to validate your feelings, to feel unconditional love. These are all things you can give yourself. Don't wait for someone else to give you these things because they can't. Only you can prevent forest fires and only you can love yourself that way. Don't believe that your crush can save you from yourself. That never works out. Crushes are people you put so high up on a pedestal that there is no way to go but down. You aren't "in love" with them. You are "in love" with the idea of them, and no one can stand up that kind of scrutiny.  Take my advice because I have been where you are now and I have made the same mistakes.

Take the advice of this wrinkled, grey haired, walker pushing, old bitty. Love yourself. Find yourself. Get to know your self worth and project yourself the way you want to be received by the world. You can't promote yourself as strong, intelligent, or classy when you are doing the duck face.

Neurotic Nelly


  1. I agree 100% with what you said and have thought about it several times.

    To me, I feel like growing up I was almost FORCED to be no different than a man. Which, I'm completely okay a point. I 100% believe that women STILL need to push for equal rights. And we DESERVE equal rights. And I don't think schools are teaching anything about how much women have had to suffer to get where we are, which is a shame.

    Until I met my husband I was all combat boots, sports bras, and sweatshirts. And I think (HOPE) this whole self-objectification thing will fade out quickly. When these girls are start to realize the real-world consequences of what they're doing to themselves, hopefully it will end. Hopefully the conversations and therapy sessions will start, and this will all turn around.

    But at the same time, sometimes I just want to feel pretty. I just want to put on a dress, and eyeliner, and let myself be vulnerable. I never felt that way before my husband, though. So maybe that has skewed my perspective.

    I always kind of felt like maybe a lot of these girls are doing this because of traditional gender roles. Now hear me out. Traditional gender roles, as viewed by most under 20's, are nothing like what most people think of as traditional gender roles. But at the same time, they're growing up in a time where there are NO gender roles. It's thrown at (most of) them from day 1 that they can do anything, regardless of gender. You're a man that wants to wear an evening dress and sing? Go for it. You're a woman and wants to be president? Go for it. And I'm so glad for that.

    But it at the same time, it does leave slight confusion in young minds. There's just enough hold over of grandparents saying 'girls should do this and boys should do this' that I think it could be causing confusion.

    I have no idea if I made my point, I'm not about to go back and read the novel I just left you, sorry about that by the way, but I'm blaming it on perception of gender roles and what they play(ed) in society.

  2. Thank you Elann DeVoss. I totally agree. :)

  3. Hahaha! Old bitty?? You're not :) I'm a single mum with twin 17 year old girls. You've decribed them perfectly here! Funny thing though they would probably identify many of their friends like this but not see it in themselves. They're good girls & dont give me too much grief.

  4. Thank you so much Rita! Girls have the whole word at their fingertips and yet have no idea what they can become. I blame mostly the media in the way girls see themselves. It so easy to get caught up what the movies and magazines show us. What we are told we have to look like or how we should behave. It scares me. I'm sure your daughters are great girls. :). I think we as women need to reach out and show all girls they are so much more than they realize.

  5. um WOW. Nelly, you are such an amazing writer, way better than myself and so smart and you have a way of saying things that make them very accessible. I admire this about you SO much. Lately I havent had time to read much. I finally found some and the only thing I wanted to read was your words, they provide comfort, the provide a service to your readers, you are needed.
    oh, and lets not forget female circumcision...women have been treated horribly for years. In many Muslem countries if a woman gets raped she gets punished because it was her fault for leaving the house without her husband.
    thanks for the read, it was a good one...excellent timing for me. keep writing. you will have a book in no time, a book EVERYONE should read, that says a lot. I just write crap a handful of people care about.

  6. My dear friend Debbie, thank you for your kind words and support! First off never sell yourself short. You are not only an amazing friend but also a truly talented poet. Your poetry has inspired me in so many ways and I know I'm not the only one.